Ecce Homo Complete Works, Volume Seventeen

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 23

in the open, to
the accompaniment of free bodily motion--nor in one in which even the
muscles do not celebrate a feast. All prejudices take their origin in
the intestines. A sedentary life, as I have already said elsewhere, is
the real sin against the Holy Spirit.



2.


To the question of nutrition, that of locality and climate is next of
kin. Nobody is so constituted as to be able to live everywhere and
anywhere; and he who has great duties to perform, which lay claim
to all his strength, has, in this respect, a very limited choice.
The influence of climate upon the bodily functions, affecting their
acceleration or retardation, extends so far, that a blunder in the
choice of locality and climate is able not only to alienate a man from
his actual duty, but also to withhold it from him altogether, so that
he never even comes face to face with it. Animal vigour never acquires
enough strength in him in order to reach that pitch of artistic freedom
which makes his own soul whisper to him: I, alone, can do that.... Ever
so slight a tendency to laziness in the intestines, once it has become
a habit, is quite sufficient to make something mediocre, something
"German" out of a genius; the climate of Germany, alone, is enough to
discourage the strongest and most heroically disposed intestines. The
tempo of the body's functions is closely bound up with the agility or
the clumsiness of the spirit's feet; spirit itself is indeed only a
form of these organic functions. Let anybody make a list of the places
in which men of great intellect have been found, and are still found;
where wit, subtlety, and malice constitute happiness; where genius
is almost necessarily at home: all of them rejoice in exceptionally
dry air. Paris, Provence, Florence, Jerusalem, Athens--these names
prove something, namely: that genius is conditioned by dry air, by a
pure sky--that is to say, by rapid organic functions, by the constant
and ever-present possibility of procuring for one's self great and
even enormous quantities of strength. I have a certain case in mind
in which a man of remarkable intellect and independent spirit became
a narrow, craven specialist and a grumpy old crank, simply owing to
a lack of subtlety in his instinct for climate. And I myself might
have been an example of the same thing, if illness had not compelled
me to reason, and to reflect upon reason realistically. Now that I
have learnt through long practice to read the effects of climatic and
meteorological influences, from my own body, as though from

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Morality has shown herself to be the greatest mistress of seduction ever since men began to discourse and persuade on earth--and, what concerns us philosophers even more, she is the veritable _Circe of philosophers_.
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This preface comes late, but.
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WORKS AND FAITH.
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The Greeks were likewise different from us in the value they set upon hope: they conceived it as blind and deceitful.
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not the fault of the crowd of thinkers and scientific workers: it is "self-wrought pain.
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Paul.
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The more's the pity.
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When in such a case a German obeys himself--it is very exceptional for him to do so--he does so with the same heaviness, inflexibility, and endurance with which he obeys his prince and performs his official duties: so that, as I have said, he is then capable of great things which bear no relation to the "weak disposition" he attributes to himself.
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--When we take the decisive step, and make up our minds to follow our own path, a secret is suddenly revealed to us: it is clear that all those who had hitherto been friendly to us and on intimate terms with us judged themselves to be superior to us, and are offended now.
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--How differently, again, does a painter look at some one who happens to be moving before him! He will see a great deal that does not actually exist in order to complete the actual appearance of the person, and to give it its full effect.
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That old form of thinking, however, was thought within the bounds of morality, and for it nothing existed but fixed judgments and established facts, and it had no reasons but those of authority.